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NZ orange harvest delayed by cool wet weather

The Gisborne district’s navel orange season is running well behind due to the impact of wet and cooler weather during the run-up to harvest.

First Fresh managing director Ian Albers said the start of this year’s harvest was delayed by three to four weeks.

“You can put most of that down to the weather over the past four months and a lighter overall crop, especially with early varieties like Newhall and Navelina. The crop has been coming in at a dribble over the past two weeks and we are still not up to where we should be for this time of the season.”

Overall, the total crop was down compared with last year — especially the early-season varieties.

“These do tend to be more biennial compared with the traditional Parent or Washington varieties. Our focus, therefore, is how to manage through the lighter supply and still give consumers that Gizzy navel they have grown to know and love.”

Mr Albers said exporting could be a challenge this year.

“Taste and appearance are crucial, especially where consumers are paying high prices for an imported piece of fruit. We are making absolutely sure our customers will be happy with the fruit we are intending to export before committing to any large programmes.”

First Fresh has built up a solid market base in Japan over the past 10 years and in China over the past three.

Source: gisborneherald.co.nz

Publication date: 8/8/2017


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